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A very amateur gardener
on 14 January 2006
In 1980, Mark Wallington was struggling unsucessfully to break into the world of comedy scriptwriting, so he decided to earn a living meanwhile as a jobbing gardener. The one small drawback was that he knew nothing whatsoever about gardening. However, he decided optimistically that he could learn on the job. so during the mornings he gardened, and during the afternoons he and his friend Dick wrote scripts and sent them off, and had them promptly returned.
Mark Wallington describes his adventures gardening in North London very amusingly. He works for a variety of mildly eccentric employers, like the man who's obsessed with women's tennis, and the lady who is equally obsessed with cricket. And there's the very military major who wants his plants counted and kept in strict order, and the mysterious house that may, or may not, belong to Rod Stewart. And then there's the dastardly behaviour of the professional gardening team who apparently try to sabotage his efforts. As he works Mark Wallington mostly succeeds in disguising his complete ignorance of garden matters, until the day comes when one of his employers organises a local Gardeners Question Time, and insists that he should be on the panel. Will he be found out?
This is a very amusing book, you don't have to be interested in gardens (I'm not) to enjoy it. Like Mark Wallington, you will probably find yourself getting quite fond of some of his employers, and you will be entertained by his efforts to maintain a professional image in spite of his hopelessly amateur abilities.